Why the Monday blues means you should make doctors appointments for the end of the week
Appointments made for the beginning of the week were
missed more often than those at the endPatients may feel less able to cope with the prospect of being given bad news at the start of the working weekShifting appointments to Thursday and Friday could save NHS 60m a year, claim experts
11:24 GMT, 17 December 2012
When booking a GP appointment, your best bet is to avoid the start of the week.
For a study has found this is when patients are most likely to miss their consultations due to Monday morning blues.
Study author Dr Rob Jenkins, from Glasgow University, said: 'Mondays are worst for missed appointments. But over the course of the
week attendance steadily improves. Fridays have the fewest no-shows.'
Not ready to face the world We are less likely to attend appointments on a Monday
The scientists speculated that people find it harder to drag themselves out to an appointment straight after the weekend due to Monday morning blues. They therefore feel less able to cope with the prospect of being given bad news, having an unpleasant treatment, or even dealing with abrupt medical staff.
However, by Friday the psychological boost of nearing the end of the working week boosted their resilience and so improved attendance.
Dr Jenkins said: 'Recent psychological studies have shown that different days of the
week evoke distinct emotional responses. Mondays have the most negative
response; Fridays the most positive. And emotional tone brightens
steadily over the intervening days.'
The team from Glasgow University
analysed the attendance records for more than 4.5million outpatient
hospital appointments across Scotland between 1 January 2008 and 31
Missed appointments steadily decrease as you go through the week
They also studied the attendance
records for more than 10,000 appointments at a single GP clinic. The
analysis clearly showed appointments at the beginning of the week were
missed more often than those at the end.
team said encouraging patients to book appointments to Thursday and
Friday could save the NHS tens of millions of pounds.
Writing in PLoS One, Dr Jenkins said: 'If you could cut non-attendance by just a tenth – from 12 per cent to 10.8 per cent, you could save the NHS 60 million a year.
'It would also improve patients' health and reduce the risk of illness.'
Co-author David Ellis concluded: 'A simple strategy for reducing missed
appointments could be to schedule appointments towards the end of the
week wherever possible.
'Interestingly, however, we found that hospitals tend to do the opposite – they load appointments at the start of the week.'